Rapid River Rockets softball team sweeps Marquette Redettes

RAPID RIVER — Timely hitting helped Rapid River pull off a sweep of Class A Marquette in a high school softball doubleheader played at the Rockets’ field on Wednesday.

RR, which improved to 20-7 with 3-1 and 6-1 victories, scored a run in each of the first three innings of the opener.

“Sometimes it’s not about quantity, but quality,” Rockets’ head coach George Kanyuh said. “The hits we got came at the right time. It was just one of those games which you had to grind things out and we did. It was nice to win a close one.”

Sophia van den Ende clubbed a home run in the sixth for the Redettes’ lone run.

The Rockets’ Natalie Belanger had two hits, including an RBI double. Shelby LaCosse also had two hits, also with a double, and an RBI and scored a run.

Brittany Schwartz pitched the first four innings for the win. She struck out seven, walked three and gave up a hit. Belanger, who worked the final three frames, fanned six, walked one and gave up a run on two hits.

In the second game, the Rockets led 2-1 in the fourth until Belanger ripped a three-run triple for a 5-1 advantage.

“That was very big,” said Kanyuh. “It’s nice to have that cushion late in the game.”

LaCosse went 3 for 3, drove in two runs and scored a run. Richelle Vandeville added two hits and scored twice.

“Natalie, Shelby and Richelle were the difference makers on offense in that game,” said Kanyuh. “Marquette is a good team. These are the games which bring more pressure to the team. It’s a confidence builder.”

Belanger pitched the first three innings, whiffed five, walked none and allowed a run on two hits. Schwartz threw the final three frames, striking out three, walking none and giving up two hits.